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4.83 from 29 votes

Mom's Easy Baked Ziti

Over the top baked ziti recipe loaded with over 10 different cheeses, 3 kinds of meats, fresh basil, garlic and onions. It’s truly restaurant quality that’s easy enough for a weekday and good enough for company!
Course Dinner, Main, pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword cheese, pasta, recipe, sauce, ziti
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 people
Author Divas Can Cook

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ziti noodles prepared ( a little under al dente.)
  • 1 lb. ground breakfast sausage I used Jennie' O turkey
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni diced (I used turkey)
  • 3 oz Italian sausage diced (I used Archer Farms Italian chicken sausage)
  • 1/2 cup onions diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 14.5 oz can basil garlic & oregano diced tomatoes ( I used Hunts)
  • 12.5 oz homestyle Marinara sauce I used Mezzetta Napa Valley Bistro
  • 12.5 oz Three Cheese Spaghetti sauce I used Bertolli
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 3 cups Italian cheese blend shredded, divided (I used Sarengto's 6 cheese Italian which is smoked Parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, fontina, Romano & Provolone)
  • 1 cup mixed cheddar cheeses shredded ( I used Kraft's Triple Cheddar blend)
  • 3 oz smoked gouda cheese sliced thin
  • Fresh basil chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Prepare the ziti according to package, except cook it a little under al dente.
  • Rinse with cold water to cool noodles, drain and set aside.
  • In a large deep skillet, brown the meat over medium heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, and Italian seasoning and cook until onions are slightly tender.
  • Drain the fat and return to heat
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce.
  • Reserve a cup of meat sauce for later use.
  • Bring sauce mixture to a light boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • In large bowl stir together beaten egg, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil and 1 1/2 cups of Italian blend cheese.
  • Toss in the noodles and stir gently until noodles are coated.
  • Add in the reserved cup of cooled meat sauce.
  • In a 9x13 casserole dish spread out a thin layer of meat sauce.
  • Top with half of the noodle mixture.
  • Next layer on half of the meat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with the mixed cheddar cheeses and then lay on the slices of smoked gouda.
  • Top with the remaining noodle mixture and remaining meat sauce .
  • Top with remaining Italian cheese blend.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly!
  • Garnish with lots of chopped fresh basil.
  • Let baked ziti sit before serving.
  • Enjoy

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